Sports injuries can be a pain and I mean that literally. When taking on a new sport or upping the intensity of your current sports regime then precautions are a must to avoid injury.
Injuries can hinder your performance or worse, put you out of the game for a while. It’s known that if you’re inexperienced at anything including a sport, that the chances are you’ll get it wrong the first time, meaning you could get hurt.
Injuries can’t be predicted or prevented but we do have some tips to help lower the risks of injury during sports.
Without sufficient warm-ups before a workout or vigorous sports play an injury is almost certain. Your warm-ups should last about 15 minutes and should consist of light exercise and stretches to increase blood flow and prepare your body.
Find a suitable warm-up that fits the sport that will be played. There are loads of great sources on the internet where you can find some handy warm-up tips.
A 10-minute cooldown session after your workout will usually suffice. This part of the work out generally gets ignored in favor of a quick dash into the shower. However, it is just as vital as your pre-workout warm-ups because it enables your body to safely return its heart rate, blood pressure and breathing back to its pre-workout state.
A solid nutrition plan is key to a successful exercise program. As they say, you get out what you put in. Demanding more out of your body requires you to put in more fuel, fuel being good nutrients.
If your diet is neglected and you’re pushing too hard, you could fall ill or get injured.
The right equipment
If your sport requires protective gear to be worn then wear it. Contact sports such as football, rugby and boxing involve a lot of physical contact with other players and usually requires headgear and mouth guards to be worn.
Games like baseball, cricket and sports that include hard balls during play have protective gear such as caged helmets and shin pads. The correct shoes are just as important, this includes making sure the shoe fits correctly and that the shoe is made for your specific sport.
With any sport or exercise learning to play with the right technique is key. This is not only to be good at the game but to prevent overuse injury. With the correct skills, you will get more out of your training.
The importance of rest days is a given. After an intense workout, the body needs time to recover. Not only will continued training hinder your performance but could also lead to injury from exertion.
Pain or discomfort
Knowing the difference between pain and discomfort is just as important. Discomfort is natural when pushing your boundaries with a new training routine or beginners starting a new sport.
However, pain which is usually noted as a stabbing or sharp pain is a red flag to stop, this is your body’s way of telling you to take a break. Continuing through pain is a sure way to get yourself injured.
Make sure to keep these tips in mind and you’ll stand a higher chance of avoiding injury on the playground.